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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rhubarb Birdbath

The Rhubarb leaf has been useless other than to admire it's size, and to hold the stalk that makes those beautiful tortes and pies....
until now. My sister made a birdbath using the rhubarb leaf and of course, I couldn't stand not having one so, after 2 years, I finally made a couple of them.
First, pile sand, it doesn't have to be perfect sand, this came from the back of the garage, make it into a form that will fit the rhubarb leaf of your choice. I put mine at table level to save my back. It easily could have been made right on the ground if you want. If you do make it outside, make sure to cover your project until it is dry in case of rain.
Once the form is made, lay the leaf on top of the formed sand.
Mix equal parts Portland Cement, sand, and enough water to make a mix the consistency of thick frosting or mashed potatoes.
You want to be able to form it so don't add too much water. You don't want it to be runny.
Remember to glove your hands before forming the cement around your leaf. The cement can irritate your hands. Push the cement around the leaf until you are satisfied with the shape and thickness. Remember you are making a birdbath and you will want it to be at least an inch or more in thickness, especially where the veins are. You will see why, later.
Due to our extreme heat that we had (high 90's when I was making these), I put a damp cloth over the leaves during the drying process. It took a couple of days for them to dry enough to be lifted off the forms without breaking them.
At this point, the process has gone from a fresh rhubarb leaf, to a sand form, to cement leaf that still has the green leaf attached to the inside of the birdbath.
Some of the veins were thick and peeled off nicely. The thinner parts of the leaf brushed off easily with a wire brush after drying thoroughly once turned.
As you can see, the sand forms are still around. I plan to make more.
The wire brushing worked great, making sure to get all of the rhubarb leaf and veins out of the cement.
At this point, you can leave your leaf as is or paint it. I chose to have mine painted. My Grandson is my budding artist this time. He loved getting involved in the project, putting the first coat of paint on one leaf, before he says, " Grandma, you will find me on the tire swing. "
Here we are again, from leaf to mold to birdbath....

The final step was to cover the painted leaf with a clear coat of a sealant. I LOVE the way these turned out. I think I remember why I like to create once in awhile. It has something to do with finding myself. In this case, I found myself relaxing while working with family, making something useful. It will bring a few curious birds around to splash and drink, and we get to enjoy them at the same time. Nothing's wrong with that kind of gratification, is there?
Now, get creative. It's fun and it's healthy.



Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Dar, You and Mel are the smartest and most talented women I have ever known... Your Rhubarb Birdbath is gorgeous.... Hope the birds enjoy it.... Yours turned out GREAT.... Thanks for sharing.

Paula said...

Well my goodness what are you girls going to think up next? That is so beautiful.

Kathy said...

Awsome Dar.
My girlfriends and I made those last summer and I LOVED it!
I would love to try it again ...maybe when things slow down a bit!
Great tutorial !
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings..,.

Dianna said...

Thank you, Dar, for giving such an informative post. The bird bath is beautiful...and I enjoyed meeting your budding artist...he's a cutie!

jack69 said...

You are just one hand dandy lady! It looks great and the step by step coverage is great. YOu have the good knack of getting the kids envolved too, that is great.
I am a little confused though.I never ate rubarb until the last few years, and that was a friends pie. I was under the impression it was a stalk like celery! I guess I had better look that up.

Anyway, that is a breautiful and the sealer sets it off. I guess the birds leard soon they cannot peck this leaf!

Love from Michigan across the BIG lake.

GardenofDaisies said...

I love the leaf birdbath!!! What a wonderful idea! and how fun that your grandson was able to help you! Thanks for showing us how!

Fred Alton said...

What an artist you are! Fantastic. I may (and I use the word "may" carefully and purposefully) make one for the cabin here in Tennessee. You are so creative - and talented.

Darla said...

You can find me on the tire swing, precious. I have got to try this. I have read many how to posts on this and yours is by far the easiest to follow. Straight to the point, love it~~!

The White Farmhouse said...

You know, I don't think I could imagine your house without a tire swing. It seems like such a fun place. Love this idea! I am going to have to make me some of these now! How cute would those be in a garden. You could make them at different heights and do a rain fountain too. Yeah, I have to steal this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Cher' Shots said...

I guess it's time for me to put mine together too! Our family is like a bunch of lamprey ~ always feeding off one anothers ideas. Thanks Sister, Sisters!!

~mel said...

Here's a little hint for you before you do the next one ~ lay some plastic wrap between the cement and the leaf ... then you don't have to wire brush it at all. Sooooooooo.... where are the pictures of the hypertufa pots????

Shelley said...

I looove this! Such a smart looking bird bath!!

imac said...

Very Nifty my friend.

Kellie said...

Love that birdbath idea! I'm going to have to try it.. Don't know when, but one of these days.

chubskulit said...

Aww this is so nice. My sister in law did the sme, she made it like a bowl in her pond. So pretty!

Your little prince seems to have a lot of fun doing it.

crochet lady said...

That looks great! My sister bought me one of those but alas mine broke. I left it out throughout the winter and the ice must have split it.

Suz said...

lordie..that is wonderful
what can't you do!

Rebecca said...

Wow, this is wonderful. I absolutely love it.

Lanny said...

That was a great walk through the process. Inspiring!